Arevo has produced what it says is the world’s first carbon fibre bicycle with a 3D-printed body.
After a profession that included serving to Alphabet Inc’s Google construct out knowledge facilities and dashing packages for Amazon.com Inc to clients, Jim Miller is doing what many Silicon Valley executives do after stints at large firms: discovering extra time to trip his bike.
But this bike is somewhat totally different. Arevo Inc, a startup with backing from the enterprise capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency and the place Miller not too long ago took the helm, has produced what it says is the world’s first carbon fiber bicycle with 3D-printed body.
Arevo is utilizing the bike to display its design software program and printing expertise, which it hopes to make use of to supply elements for bicycles, plane, house autos and different purposes the place designers prize the energy and lightness of so-called “composite” carbon fiber elements however are delay by the high-cost and labor-intensive course of of creating them.
Arevo on Thursday raised $12.5 million in enterprise funding from a unit of Japan’s Asahi Glass Co Ltd, Sumitomo Corp’s Sumitomo Corp of the Americas and Leslie Ventures. Previously, the corporate raised $7 million from Khosla Ventures, which additionally took half in Thursday’s funding, and an undisclosed sum from In-Q-Tel, the enterprise capital fund backed by the CIA.
Traditional carbon fiber bikes are costly as a result of employees lay particular person layers of carbon fiber impregnated with resin round a mildew of the body by hand. The body then will get baked in an oven to soften the resin and bind the carbon fiber sheets collectively.
Arevo’s expertise makes use of a “deposition head” mounted on a robotic arm to print out the three-dimensional form of the bicycle body. The head lays down strands of carbon fiber and melts a thermoplastic materials to bind the strands, multi functional step.
The course of includes virtually no human labor, permitting Arevo to construct bicycle frames for $300 in prices, even in dear Silicon Valley.
“We’re right in line with what it costs to build a bicycle frame in Asia,” Miller stated. “Because the labor costs are so much lower, we can re-shore the manufacturing of composites.”
While Miller stated Arevo is in talks with a number of bike producers, the corporate finally hopes to provide aerospace elements. Arevo’s printing head might run alongside rails to print bigger elements and would keep away from the necessity to construct enormous ovens to bake them in.
“We can print as big as you want – the fuselage of an aircraft, the wing of an aircraft,” Miller stated.